Somewhat to our surprise, at the end of the First Called Session (more commonly known as the special session), the legislature added some guardianship provisions from H.B. 2900(that failed to pass in the Regular Session) to S.B. 1, the “fiscal matters” bill that was the primary reason for the special session in the first place.
One of these provisions deals with the transfer of a guardianship from one county to another. Following the transfer, the bond must be modified to reflect the new court, and there must be a hearing within 90 days to determine whether any terms of the original guardianship should be modified.
The other deals with problems arising from guardianship proceedings in more than one state. If a foreign guardian desires to transfer the guardianship to Texas, the application should include certified copies of all papers filed in the foreign proceeding, and the Texas court must determine whether any terms of the original guardianship should be modified.
A Texas court may delay further action in a guardianship proceeding if a subsequent proceeding is filed in another jurisdiction where venue is proper. The preference of a proposed ward who is 12 years of age or older becomes a factor for the court’s consideration.
If at any time the Texas court determines that it has acquired jurisdiction because of unjustifiable conduct, the court may:
- decline to exercise jurisdiction;
- impose an appropriate remedy for the health, safety, and welfare of property or prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct; or
- continue to exercise jurisdiction after considering whether all parties have acquiesced to jurisdiction, whether Texas is a more appropriate forum, and whether the other court would have jurisdiction.
If the Texas court determines that it has jurisdiction because of unjustifiable conduct, the court may assess costs against the party engaging in that conduct.
(Please don’t ask me to explain the relevance of these provisions to a “fiscal matters” bill.)
S.B. 1 was signed by the Governor July 19thand is effective September 28th.
We’ve posted an updated legislative update (dated July 19th) that reflects the changes included in S.B. 1. You’ll find it in the usual place.